Campsie Glen

Campsie Glen local history

Campsie (encompassing Lennoxtown, Milton of Campsie and Torrance)

The old parish church and graveyard have often fascinated visitors to Campsie.

Campsie Parish was originally associated with the old Church of St Machan, first established at Campsie Glen during the twelfth century, beside the reputed grave of the saint. The parish church was moved to Lennoxtown in the 1820s, but remains of the older church can still be seen in the graveyard at the Clachan.

Campsie Parish has some interesting placenames. At one time there was a 'Kirktown of Campsie' at Campsie Glen, beside the parish church, a 'Newtown of Campsie' at Lennoxtown, where a new town was built during the late eighteenth century to accommodate workers employed in new industries there, and a 'Milltown of Campsie' at Milton, where there was a mill. The significance of this is only slightly diminished by the fact that the mill at Milton was not the principal parish mill, which honour belonged to Lennox Mill at Lennoxtown.

During the late eighteenth century and throughout the nineteenth Lennoxtown was the focus of flourishing industrial development, based on the mining, textile printing and chemical industries. This was in sharp contrast to the scenic beauty of the surrounding area, epitomised by Campsie Glen, renowned as a tourist attraction. Down to the end of the eighteenth century it was inaccessible to visitors, but then it was thrown open to all by the local landowner, John McFarlan of Ballencleroch, who by doing so gained great popularity with the local people. The great beauty of the Glen and the hills above continues to be appreciated by the many visitors to the area each year.